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The Practitioner's Guide to Governance as Leadership: Building High-Performing Nonprofit Boards

ISBN: 978-1-118-10987-8
272 pages
December 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Practitioner

Description

THE PRACTITIONER'S GUIDE TO GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

The Practitioner's Guide to Governance as Leadership offers a resource that shows how to achieve excellence and peak performance in the boardroom by putting into practice the groundbreaking model that was introduced in the book, Governance as Leadership. This proven model of effective governance explores how to attain proficiency in three governance modes or mindsets: fiduciary, strategic, and generative.

Throughout the book, author Cathy Trower offers an understanding of the Governance as Leadership model through a wealth of illustrative examples of high-performing nonprofit boards. She explores the challenges of implementing governance as leadership and suggests ideas for getting started and overcoming barriers to progress. In addition, Trower provides practical guidance for optimizing the practices that will improve organizational performance including: flow (high skill and high purpose), discernment, deliberation, divergent thinking, insight, meaningfulness, consequence to the organization, and integrity. In short, the book is a combination of sophisticated thinking, instructive vignettes, illustrative documents, and practical recommendations.

The book includes concrete strategies that can help improve critical thinking in the boardroom, a board's overall performance as a team, as well as information for creating a strong governance culture and understanding what is required of an effective CEO and a chairperson. To determine a board's fitness and help the members move forward, the book contains three types of assessments: board members evaluate each other; individual board member assessments; and an overall team assessment.

This practitioner's guide is written for nonprofit board members, chief executives, senior staff members, and anyone who wants to reflect on governance, discern how to govern better, and achieve higher performance in the process.

Email: catrower@trowerandtrower.com
Website: www.trowerandtrower.com

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Table of Contents

List of Exhibits, Figures, and Tables xiii

Foreword xvii
by Richard Chait

Preface xxi

CHAPTER 1: THE GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP MODEL 1

Premises 2

Underlying Assumptions 2

Governance Reform 3

The Three Modes or Mental Maps 4

Why Three Modes? 14

CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED AND GAINING TRACTION WITH GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP 21

What Is Optimized at Board Meetings? 22

What Is Different about Generative Governance? 22

Moving to Higher Purpose and Optimizing Performance:

Beginning the Conversation 23

Moving to Higher Purpose and Optimizing Performance: Getting Started 26

Moving to Higher Purpose and Optimizing Performance: Getting Traction 33

CHAPTER 3: ENCOURAGING CRITICAL THINKING IN THE BOARDROOM 47

Critical Thinking and Metacognition 48

Getting on the Balcony 50

Ways of Thinking 51

Impediments to Critical Thinking 54

Cognitive Biases and Board Workarounds 62

Social Loafing 70

Groupthink 71

Avoiding Groupthink and Its Close Cousins 77

CHAPTER 4: TURNING YOUR BOARD INTO A HIGH-PERFORMING TEAM 85

Social Systems 86

Groups and Teams 87

Boards as Teams 89

Effective Board Teams in the Context of Governance as Leadership 91

CHAPTER 5: CREATING A GOVERNANCE-AS-LEADERSHIP CULTURE 125

Culture 126

Three Toxic Cultures 128

Culture Change 131

Culture Conducive to Governance as Leadership 132

Tools to Support a “Governance as Leadership–Friendly” Culture 143

CHAPTER 6: WHAT GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP REQUIRES OF LEADERS 169

Leadership 170

CHAPTER 7: MEASURING AND SUSTAINING GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP 187

Measuring Board Performance 188

Sustaining Governance as Leadership 211

EPILOGUE 215

REFERENCES 217

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 221

THE AUTHOR 227

BOARDSOURCE 229

INDEX 231

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Author Information

CATHY A. TROWER, PhD, is president of Trower & Trower, Inc., a board governance consulting firm founded in 1998. Formerly a senior research associate at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, Cathy is nationally known for her expertise on board policies and best practices, leadership, organizational change, strategic thinking, group dynamics, faculty diversity/workplace satisfaction, and shared governance. She is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, coach, and advisor to boards and executives.

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